After many months of hard work and dedication from a talented cast and crew, Missouri State University T&D Department’s The Last Days of Judas Iscariot is ready to hit the stage!
The notorious Judas Iscariot is one of Christendom’s most reviled figures. Although accounts of his life and motivations vary, tradition holds that Judas betrayed Jesus to the religious and civil authorities of the day. Then, consumed with remorse, he hung himself from an olive tree. But why did Judas betray his teacher, and what should be his ultimate fate? In The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, the trial of Judas reveals themes of justice, free-will, forgiveness, and fate. To delve into a behind the scenes look at the production of this show, we interviewed director Kurt Heinlein.
When asked about the show’s content, Kurt gave us insight into the underlying message of the show, which “is often billed as a dark comedy but it notably hard to categorize by genre. It presents an imaginary trial of Judas Iscariot with key historical and religious figures serving as witnesses.” Kurt goes on to explain how the content of the show is meant to provoke audiences to think further about their understanding of the actions of historical figures.
“Throughout, it challenges our personal history and icons. In doing so, we are correspondingly asked to investigate how those assumptions intersect with race, religion, justice, forgiveness, and structural bigotry.”
While working with the cast of this production, Kurt informed us that “the team has done a wonderful job from A to Z. The nature of the work demands a communicative and unselfish artistic environment, and the team has consistently risen to the challenge.” Not only is this production an interesting look at the trial and persecution of Judas Iscariot, but it is socially relevant too. Kurt hopes that in seeing the show, audiences “leave with the positive mindset that comes with opening oneself to new perspectives (something we are in dire need of within the current culture of insidious political and socio-religious separatism).”
To hear more about the production of The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, we went to Stage Manager, Kinzy Sapp, next. Kinzy apprises that during the rehearsal process, “everyone has been working diligently to maintain the director’s vision and show the story from what they perceive as their character’s point of view.” This cast and crew has devoted many months of hard work to bring this production to life. Upon viewing the show, Kinzy hopes that audiences understand “there are always different perspectives and accounts that could attribute to the other side of the story, and to simply consider them for even a moment.”
Don’t miss your chance to see this thought-provoking production when it hits the stage this weekend. Performances for The Last Days of Judas Iscariot take place October 27th, 28th, and 31st-November 4th at 7:30pm, as well as November 6th at 2:30pm in the Craig Hall Balcony Theatre. You can purchase tickets by clicking here.
“[The Last Days of Judas Iscariot] is funny. It is also gut-wrenchingly beautiful at times. It is poignant. It is culturally relevant. In all, it’s a wildly unique and fulfilling theatre experience.”